By LARRY VAUGHT
Leah Meyer, a two-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference pick at Duke, certainly is going to give the Kentucky volleyball team a physical presence at middle blocker this season.
Kentucky coach Craig Skinner says the 6-3 graduate transfer adds a “level of IQ” to the team that a freshman could not possibly learn going into her first season.
“She has played in high level matches before in a great conference. She is calm. Nothing really rattles her or fazes her a whole lot. She has seen so many things. Under pressure she will manage that well,” Skinner said after Wednesday’s exhibition match against Western Kentucky.
Last year at Duke she ranked third in the ACC in hitting percentage (.376) and third in blocks (1.44).
In her senior season at Duke, Meyer ranked third in the ACC in hitting percentage (.376) and in blocks (1.44).
“She is a physical kid. I thought she was like 6-2 and I stood next to her and said, ‘You are taller than 6-2,’” Skinner said. “She is a great blocker. I think our team will notice that and our fans will see that once we start getting into the season. She has just scratched the surface of the level of play she’s going to be at by October.”
Junior Madison Lilley, a second-team All-American last year, says Meyer is an “awesome” addition to the team.
“She is kind of the grandma of the group off the court which is kind of cool,” Lilley said. “Obviously she hits the side attack really well, which is awesome and we really take a lot of pride in that. Brooke Morgan hit it well my sophomore year and Kaz Brown did my freshman year, so it is really cool to have that. She brings a lot of fire and really excited to have her.”
Senior Leah Edmond is another returning All-American and was also Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in 2018. Count her as a Meyer fan, too, because she adds “lots of experience” for Kentucky.
“Her being a fifth-year (player) is just great,” Edmond said. “She has been through the games in a different conference and has played different people and can just bring her knowledge. It’s really exciting to have her.”